Sunday, July 13, 2008

Uttam Kumar in the 60s

Uttam Kumar in the 60s.

Uttam Kumar became one man industry in the Bengali filmworld in the 60s and 70s. He not only dominated the industry but also motivated other actors to perform their best. In the film Saptapadi, in 1961, he played the role of a Bengali Brahmin, who became a doctor but converted himself to a Christian to marry an anglo girl called Reena Brown which was played by Suchitra Sen. It was a classical romantic film made by the majestic director Ajoy Kar and Uttam Kumar was sublime in the later part where he devoted his life for the benefit of the victims of second world war.

Uttam Kumar made viewers speechless with his performance in the film Shonkhobela, where due to corporate success he became alcoholic which led to family tensions. His wife and son were neglected and when the child became extremely sick the doctor played by Bosonto Chowdhury called Uttam Kumar and convinced him about the father’s responsibility and reunited the family. Uttam Kumar’s lips in the famous song of Manna Dey titled “ami agantuk” and “ke prothom kache esechi” made the viewers spellbound. Sudhin Dasgupta composed the legendary music of the film.

Uttam Kumar received the national award for the best actor for the film Antony Firingi. He played the role of a an Anglo who worshipped goddess kali due to the devotion of his wife played by Tanuja, but the fundamentalists killed his wife. Uttam Kumar gave historical lips in Manna Dey’s song “ami jamini tumi sashi he”, “ami je jalsaghare”.

Uttam Kumar also amused the viewers in Satyajit Ray’s film Chiriakhana, where he played the role of a detective who unearthed the mystery relating to a murder which took place at a nursery near Kolkata. There were lot of members who could be suspected , but Uttam Kumar unveiled the truth relating to the actual murderer who played his violin while he committed the murder. The other memorable films in the 60s include Chourangee where Uttam Kumar played the role of hospitality manager in Metro Hotel at Kolkata, and while he left for Bombay with a new job offer, he lost his wife played by Anjana Bhowmick who was an airhostess and her flight crashed in her last journey.

Uttam Kumar had made people laugh, made them happy and also shed tears when there were tragic sequences. Probably with his death Bengal lost the greatest matinee idol of all times, who was neither replaced nor forgotten. The films should be restored to bring back the sweet memories of the legendary actor who really was one man industry.

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